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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Biogenesis \Bi`o*gen"e*sis\, Biogeny \Bi*og"e*ny\, n. [Gr. bi`os life + ?, ?, birth.] (Biol.)

  1. A doctrine that the genesis or production of living organisms can take place only through the agency of living germs or parents; -- called also biogeny; -- opposed to abiogenesis.

  2. Life development generally.

    2. the production of a chemical compound by a living organism.

    Syn: biosynthesis.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

also bio-genesis, 1870, "theory that living organisms arise only from pre-existing living matter," coined by English biologist T.H. Huxley (1825-1895) from Greek bios "life" (see bio-) + -genesis "birth, origin, creation." Related: Biogenetic; biogenetical.


n. The principle that living organisms are produced only from other living organisms.

  1. n. production of a chemical compound by a living organism [syn: biosynthesis]

  2. the production of living organisms from other living organisms [syn: biogeny]


Biogenesis is the production of new living organisms or organelles. The law of biogenesis, attributed to Louis Pasteur, is the conclusion that complex living things come only from other living things, by reproduction (e.g. a spider lays eggs, which develop into spiders). That is, modern life does not arise from non-living material, which was the position held by spontaneous generation. This is summarized in the phrase Omne vivum ex vivo, Latin for "all life [is] from life." A related statement is Omnis cellula e cellula, "all cells [are] from cells;" this conclusion is one of the central statements of cell theory.

Biogenesis (The X-Files)

"Biogenesis" is the twenty-second episode and the sixth season finale of the science fiction television series The X-Files. The episode first aired in the United States and Canada on May 16, 1999 on the Fox Network, and aired in the United Kingdom and Ireland on July 25, 1999 on Sky1. It was written by executive producers Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz, and directed by Rob Bowman. "Biogenesis" earned a Nielsen household rating of 9.4, being watched by 15.86 million people in its initial broadcast. The episode received mixed reviews from critics.

The show centers on FBI special agents Fox Mulder ( David Duchovny) and Dana Scully ( Gillian Anderson) who work on cases linked to the paranormal, called X-Files. Mulder is a believer in the paranormal, while the skeptical Scully has been assigned to debunk his work. In the episode, Mulder and Scully investigate a bizarre rock inscribed with Navajo writing found in Côte d'Ivoire, and the death of the African scientist involved. While its appearance in Washington begins to affect Mulder’s mental health, leading him to turn to Agent Fowley for help; a disturbed Scully—determined to disprove the theory that life on Earth began with aliens—heads to New Mexico and finds a dying Albert Hosteen—who has discovered that the rock includes passages from the Bible, and a map of the human genome. While Mulder breaks down in a mental institution, Scully journeys unexpectedly to Africa.

"Biogenesis" was a story milestone for the series, along with " The Sixth Extinction" and "The Sixth Extinction II: Amor Fati," and introduced new aspects to the series' overarching mythology. The episode was written due to series creator Chris Carter's fascination with the possibility that extraterrestrials were involved in the great extinctions that had happened millions of years ago.

Biogenesis (disambiguation)

Biogenesis is the generation of life from existing life.

Biogenesis may also refer to:

  • "Biogenesis" (The X-Files)
  • Biogenesis baseball scandal (involving MLB players taking growth-hormone)
  • Mitochondrial biogenesis
  • Organelle biogenesis
  • Ribosome biogenesis
  • Recapitulation theory, the biogenetic law of Ernst Haeckel

Usage examples of "biogenesis".

Limit the available information, and locating sites of biogenesis became a kind of Easter egg hunt.

You see, after Summer House mapped your cell structure, the data was scattered in packets throughout the biogenesis function to make it harder to detect.

Summer House has used the biogenesis function to disguise illegal data.

Rhodes pacified him, though, by congratulating him heartily on the new line of work, asking to see further studies, promising to take the topic of renewed biogenesis up at the very next meeting of the directors.

Jupiter and Europa might be more probable places, but they could not yet, if ever, be regarded as accessible ones where biogenesis seemed likely to occur.

One of the biogenesis trillionaires acquired the land, then, with considerable fanfare, built the mansion, and for a moment or two, there was no more famous address in the solar system.

But each rare glimpse at a separate accident of biogenesis cast light on the nature and prospects of life.

CHAPTER 26 The biogenesis function was an awesome assemblage of information.

Summer House has used the biogenesis function to disguise illegal data.

Now it was a tangle of riotous growth, a jungle where plants and autotrophs from myriad worlds had broken out of their assigned places, curling round the disap pearing latticework, intermingling in a bedlam of anar chic biogenesis.

Now it was a tangle of riotous growth, a jungle where plants and autotrophs from myriad worlds had broken out of their assigned places, curling round the disappearing latticework, intermingling in a bedlam of anarchic biogenesis.